Emergency or Disaster?

I don’t know how much the rest of the country paid attention to a very early snowstorm in the Northeast, but I had to pay attention to it.  It was a big part of the last week or so of my life.  I travel to Connecticut a lot and nearly the entire state was without power for a few days.  Those days happened to coincide with the dates that I was supposed to be there.  Have you ever tried to call a hotel that doesn’t have power to confirm your reservation?  I hadn’t until this storm hit.  And, since I couldn’t reach them I kept my travel plans because I didn’t want to be a “no show” for the meetings that I was supposed to attend.  And, when I got within about an hour of my hotel, I got an email that my reservation was cancelled.  Perfect!  Here I am, far from home, close to where I’m supposed to be for work, and nothing in the area has electricity.  Fortunately, I have a phone full of contacts and I scrolled through my list to see who I could call as my Plan B.  Eventually, I found a place to sleep that had electricity, which means HOT water for the shower! Read more

GUEST BLOG POST: Back to school

The countdown begins. American retailers are doing a happy dance, while American kids are doing a sad shuffle. It’s time to go back to school.

Parents and providers are counting, too, not just the days, but the money they’ll need to get their students ready. As a nation, we will spend approximately $23 billion to equip and clothe our kids for grades K to 12. When our college-bound children are considered, that adds another $46 billion to the price tag. This anticipated surge in consumer spending is second only to the money we will spend for the holidays at the end of the year.

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